International Day of Action
Anti-war demonstrations were held in Britain, Germany, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the USA and many other countries and cities on Saturday October 13, part of an International Day of Action against the US war against Afghanistan. At least 16 people were killed in Nigeria in anti-American riots. Nigerian authorities ordered police to shoot on sight and imposed a night curfew on Kano, the biggest city in the mainly Muslim north, after some of the most violent anti-American protests in Africa since US air strikes on Afghanistan began. Army tanks sought to quell riots which followed a pattern of Muslim- Christian clashes that have killed thousands in oil-producing Nigeria over the past two years. There were reports of churches, mosques and shops on fire. London In London, Muslims and Christians marched side by side in a protest that attracted more than 20,000 people, according to police estimates. "We're here because there are thousands of people across Britain who know that the bombing of Afghanistan is not going to put an end to terrorism", said Carol Naughton, chairperson of the protest organisers, the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Berlin Germany also saw its biggest protest so far against the air strikes. Organisers said some 30,000 people turned out in Berlin. Protesters came from some 140 different groups. "The horror of World War II makes all of us in Germany leery of war", said physician Hannes Wand, 54, at the rally. "I'm against this war because it's not justified and innocent people are being killed and forced to flee their homes." Banners read: "War is genocide", "War is not the solution" and "Stop Bush's war". Singers performed anti-war folk songs of the 1960s from the backs of flat-bed trucks. Berne, Stuttgart Police said an estimated 5,000 people protested in the Swiss capital Berne, and about 4,000 in the German city of Stuttgart. India: Nationwide anti-war demonstrations Thousands of people representing the intelligentsia, youth, students, leaders and left workers marched to the US Information Centre in New Delhi shouting anti war slogans last Saturday. Banners and placards like "Americans created Bin laden", "No compromise on Indian Sovereignty", "No to Indian bases for US war against Afghanistan" while the youth and the students carried banners saying "We want jobs not war". The mood of the huge procession was to denounce imperialist war as well as terrorism. The procession was peaceful but was stopped short of the building housing the American Information Centre by the police who were present in large numbers. Speakers said the world needs peace not war. Terrorism has to be tackled by strategy but not by escalation of war. Prakash Karat, Polit Bureau member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), strongly condemned the wanton destruction of buildings and the killing of innocent lives by the US air-strikes. He termed the military action as a unilateral move bypassing the United Nations and in defiance of international law. The US intention is to use the anger of the world at the terrorist acts of September 11 to strengthen its hegemony. The arrival of US ground troops in Pakistan is the first instance of its kind in the sub-continent and has adverse implications for our national security. Anti-war demonstration in Kerala The Indian State of Kerala also witnessed an unprecedented protest against the unwarranted war imposed by US imperialism and its lackeys on the people of the world in the name of the terrorist attacks of September 11. The Left Democratic forces of the country called to hold nation-wide protest demonstrations and rallies against the US sponsored war. A large number of people participated in a demonstration in the capital city of Trivandrum. Muslim organisations also held rallies and demonstrations against war and terrorism. The State Secretariat of Congress of Indian Trade Unions has called for demonstrations and public meetings on October 15 to 17. Speakers at the demonstration said that Kerala is in the process of being convinced that this is a war concocted for the grabbing of the oil fields of the Middle East for the sake of the imperialist powers. People have begun to speak about the audacity with which the US President threatens all countries in the world while claiming the authority and right to attack any country in order to curb what it calls terrorism. The people are aware of the religious terrorism and that the terrorism developed under bin Laden and many others are the creations of American imperialism and its lackeys during the Soviet days. They were used to threaten countries seeking help from the Soviet Union and to prevent them from taking the side of the socialist block. Globalisation has not achieved for America what it aimed to achieve, that is, to cross the borders of all states and create a global village to exterminate national cultures and national economies. This is the final attempt of the US to intervene in the affairs of the other countries. It could not be started directly and the September 11 incidents are being taken advantage of by US imperialism as a golden opportunity to extend its designs. Hence the war on Afghanistan.
* * *Ganashakti news service